On September 27, the Council on African Studies co-sponsored a visit to Yale by Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana. Akufo-Addo spoke about democracy and development in Africa to a capacity audience of students, faculty, and greater New Haven residents in the Yale SOM’s Zhang Auditorium as part of its Leaders Forum lecture series.
In a conversation moderated by Elijah Paintsil, CAS faculty member and Associate Professor at the Yale School of Medicine, Akufo-Addo discussed how democratic processes and economic development will create a prosperous, independent future for the African people. “The past decade has been one of great expectation and promise for Africa,” he said. Akufo-Addo reminded the audience that Africa is home to the world’s second largest population and 25% of the world’s agricultural land, in addition to having the minerals necessary to run a modern economy. “We have no excuse to deny this generation a new future of options and expectations,” he said.
A reception followed Akufo-Addo’s talk at SOM where the President was received by an enthusiastic gathering of Yale students from Africa. Akufo-Addo was also introduced to CAS faculty member and the D. Willis James Professor of Missions and World Christianity at Yale Divinity School, Lamin Sanneh. A new research institute for the advanced study of religion and society in Africa and headquartered at the University of Ghana in Accra has been named for Professor Sanneh.